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September 27, 2013 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-27

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, September 27, 2013 - 5

Katzman to take new,
personal direction

"Let's go to the mall today."
'S.H.I.E.L.D' pilot
too safe to be super,

Daily Arts Writer
If you were to ask University
alum and musician, Theo
Katzman, what effect the
University had
on him as an Theo
artist and as Katzman
a person, he
would tell you Saturday
that it was the at 8 p.m.
"single most
influential The Ark
experience of $5
his life."
Katzman, who has an upcoming
performance at Ann Arbor's
famous nonprofit club, the Ark,
developed a passion for music at
a young age, which he described
as an "evolutionary accident."
"My father was a jazz musician
by profession and he played on
'The Tonight Show Starring
Johnny Carson,' " Katzman said.
"And then my mom's parents
were both classical musicians,
my mom's father was in the
Detroit Symphony Orchestra. So
I come from a history of music."
Music came naturally to him,
starting not with an instrument,
but with his voice and his mom.
"I've been singing since I was
a little kid, and I didn't know it
was a thing. I was just singing
with my mom," Katzman said.
"My mom has a beautiful voice
and loves to sing, so singing
came very naturally to me. I was
always doing it."
Singing eventually
transitioned into playing
instruments: guitar, drums and
bass. His interest for instruments
pointed him toward songwriting,
which started his "high school
doldrums" phase.

any of h
you'll n
years i
But fit
own an
favor o
was a1
took al
I would
own id

ever, don't expect to hear songs, some of them I hadn't even
is music from that time. recorded yet."
y were just typical Katzman has decided to
heartbreak songs, which introduce a couple new songs,
ever hear," Katzman said. beyond his own personal
e buried somewhere." experiences, for his next album,
abilities as a songwriter which he hopes to put out in 2014.
ted, and he spent several "My whole catalog (of songs)
n a variety of different up to this point is all personal
including My Dear Disco, experience as opposed to
also included Michelle storytelling," Katzman said. "I'm
el, fellow alum and recent starting to move a little bit more
-up on NBC's "The Voice." into the realm of storytelling
nally in 2011, Katzman with some of my new stuff that
d to venture out on his isn't released yet."
d self-released his album, Those include his newest
ce Without Finance. single, "Pop Song," which
tting (My Dear Disco) in he debuted on the tour this
f starting my own band summer with Criss. The
big step for me and that song was officially released
otoffaith and confidence," September 19, but fans all
an said. "It was an over the internet had been
t to conquer my fear that waiting anxiously for a while
dn't be able to achieve my to purchase the official release.
entity in music." Several mishaps on Katzman's
part ("My bad, guys,") had led
to the single being delayed for
LUsIClan to several days.
Katzman intends to release
ring stories a couple more singles before
putting out his second album,
:o the Ark. but his overall hopes for the
future range from the simple
- which basically involves him
maintaining his status as an
couple of years, though, independent artist and playing
an has managed to make music to people who want to
e for himself and has hear it - to the ambitious.
ently drawn large crowds "I feel inspired to recreate
shows. This summer, he the demand for consumer-
across the country as the supported music. As we've
g act for Darren Criss, transitioned to the new internet
'ersity alum and star of model, people are saying that,
"Glee." 'Oh, the music industry is
was a super, awesome, failing,"'Katzman said. "I don't
time (to open for Criss)," agree. I think it's just changing
an said. "To open as an and I want to be one of the guys
was incredible. By the out there flying the freak flag
show, I felt like all the of 'Hey, it's all good, we're still
new all the words to my doing it.'"

Whedon takes his
'Avengers' realm to
the small screen
Three years after "Dollhouse"
came to an end, Joss Whedon
Agents of
S.H.I.E.L.D.," B
Disney's full-
throttled Marvel's
attempt to Agents of
bring its Marvel
super-franchise S.H.I.E.L.D.
to the ABC Pilot
Agent Tuesdays
Coulson (Clark at 8 p.m.
Gregg, "The
Avengers") ABC
lives, thank God
(or Thor). He's back in action at
Strategic Homeland Intervention,
Enforcement and Logistics
Division (S.H.I.E.L.D.), a C.I.A.-
like shadow agency of supers
and normals working together
to fight baddies and protect the
public from information it isn't
ready for, like those flying aliens
who wreaked havoc on New York
City in Whedon's "The Avengers."
Don't worry if you didn't catch the
2012 mega movie: The characters
spend plenty of time bringing you
up to speed, at times overdoing it
with the exposition.
"S.H.I.E.L.D." comes out of the
gate with a lot going for it. It's a
prepackaged idea with a built-in
audience, and everything from the
swelling strings to the stunning
fight choreography makes the
pilotfeel not all that differentfrom
watching a big-screen superhero
origin story. While the cinematic

production values enthrall, a
"Marvel movie every week"
premise, despite sounding fun on
paper, simply isn't sustainable, nor
is it all thatcompelling.
But this is Whedon we're
talking about - the genre-
slayer himself. The man sticks
to his own superpowers in the
"S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot, which he
directed and co-wrote with
"Dollhouse" writers Jed Whedon
and Maurissa Tancharoen.
For one, he has once again
crafted a dream team of complex
characters. Coulson is already
a fan favorite, but the pilot
introduces us to the other faces of
"S.H.I.E.L.D.," like Brett Dalton's
Grant Ward, who's shown as a
stiff, individualistic field agent
who Coulson hopes to turn into
a team player. Chloe Bennet
steals the show as the wickedly
smart but impulsive hacker Skye,
who's a part of the Anonymous-
like group the Rising Tide.
Ming-Na Wen kills it as Agent
Melinda May, who reluctantly
re-enters the field upon orders
from Coulson and turns out to
be one of the toughest agents
on the "S.H.I.E.L.D." payroll,
and relative newcomers Iain
De Caestecker and Elizabeth
Henstridge provide geeky banter
as the tech and science geniuses
Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons
(affectionately referred to as
Their quips are full of the
sharp, meta punches Whedon
excels at. The pilot is at its most
powerful when its characters
are fully aware of the universe
in which they exist. Just as
Whedon's "Cabin in the Woods"
deconstructed torture porn and
held up a mirror to the slasher
genre, "S.H.I.E.L.D." teases its
own genre, poking self-aware fun

at the ridiculousness of comic-
book worlds. When Coulson
emerges from darkness to deliver
a snappy one-liner, he pauses to
muse on his own melodrama.
"With great power," Skye begins
in a serious tone, "comes a ton of
weird crap."
Ultimately, there's a safeness
to the pilot that's atypical for a
Whedon production. But with
his previous television projects,
Whedon could throw away
conventions and expectations
because the shows were under-
the-radar enough to get away
with it. With "S.H.I.E.L.D.,"
Whedon is situated in the
mainstream more than ever
before. His political capital in
Hollywood (he's up there with
J.J. Abrams as one of the most
powerful men in the industry at
the moment) gives him creative
freedom not all creators possess,
but onlyto an extent. Disney's the
boss in the end.
Whedon once wondered what
it would look like if the woman
walking alone down a dark
alley were the one the sinister
creatures of the night feared
instead of the other way around.
From that thought, "Buffy the
Vampire Slayer" was conceived.
Whedon continued to subvert
tropes throughout the series and
in his other work, and that kind
of rejection of norms is what
could elevate "S.H.I.E.L.D." from
an "X-Files"-plus-superheroes
procedural to something that
packs a little more punch. The
pilot's self-awareness achieves
this to an extent, but still plays
out as a fairly by-the-numbers
origin story. Sure, watching
Coulson fly away in his bright red
car is fun, but give me more of
that biting human emotion you're
so damn good at, Joss.


In a
a nam
to his
a Univ
fans ke

Reflecting on the 10 years
since 'Speakerboxxx'

Love B
10 ye
But it
been 1
you, th

By KENDALL RUSS influence (would we have
OnlineArtsEditor Janelle Monde without The Love
Below?) and, ultimately, impact
kast's Speakerboxxx / The on Outkast's demise. And while
elow turned 10 Monday. the album plays and feels as well
hink about that for a 10 years on as the giant fur Big
d. Sure, it has been Boi sports on the album cover,
ars since we've heard it's hard to shake the lingering
st's last great record. sense of gap, permeating with
has also been 10 years nostalgia. Forget the music for
you awkwardly rubbed a moment, and think about your
:t a fellow sixth grader to life. Now, are you where you
Ya!" at your first middle- wanted to be 10 years ago?
dance. It has (hopefully) Is 20 too young to pine for
0 years since you took to youth? Maybe. Probably. But
* to spew that hormonal, just reading that makes me
en #angst. For most of wish for a time when I didn't
hat's halfofyour life. say things like "pine for youth."
Most of us may be too young to
have any real responsibilities,
You cant but how many of us still spout
pretension, desperately striving
take it like a for the esteem of others? How
many of us fluff our resumes and
aroid picture apply for jobs we morally oppose
but think we need to get rich
anymore. and become miserable in the
process? Ten years ago, I may
have worried too much about
which two popped polo collars
now, there are plenty of I would match with my puka
ions on Speakerboxxx / shell necklace, but I always tried
ove Below's importance, to worry about more important

things - like whether or not we
were having pizza for dinner.
"Baby, take off your cool
/ I want to get to know you,"
Three Stacks and Norah Jones
croon on The Love Below track,
"Take Off Your Cool." The song
shines in its simplicity, and
it's one that resonates with me
today in a way that "Unhappy,"
"Roses" and "Hey Ya!" don't. It's
really easy to fall into a negative
feedback cycle of anxiety and
inauthenticity, of aiming at
that high-paying job both your
current and 10-year-old selves
would abhor. Take off your cool
and be authentic - but don't be
selfish, and don't succumb to
Instead, be honest - with
yourself, your friends and
your ambition. Big Boi gives
us some advice on "Unhappy:"
"Let strangers play while you
graduate and move on / True
happiness is not acquired and
you won't find it for sale." It's as
true today as it was 10 years ago.
We may not have been listening
when we graduated elementary
school, but we can't afford to
ignore it now.

The L


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